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Han Solo Almost Had A Wookiee Wife In The Star Wars Holiday Special

Longtime "Star Wars" fans will know that the 1978 "The Star Wars Holiday Special" (which was broadcast only once on CBS before it was pulled from air) is one of the most infamous and widely-ridiculed pieces of media in the entire "Star Wars" franchise. Indeed, the initial reception to the special was so negative that it was never released on home video, and has only survived through the circulation of bootleg copies possessed by the most die-hard fans.

The special itself follows a fairly straightforward (if laughable) premise — it follows Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) as they navigate around the Galactic Empire and travel back to the Wookiee home world of Kashyyyk, where they celebrate "Life Day" with Chewbacca's family. That family includes Chewbacca's father, Itchy (Paul Gale), his wife Malla (Mickey Morton), and his son, a small Wookiee with the unfortunate name of Lumpy (Patty Maloney). Alongside these hilarious additions to the main cast, the special is also notable for introducing fans to the fan-favorite Bounty Hunter Boba Fett (voiced by Don Francks/Gabriel Dell), who appears in an animated segment which breaks up the main plot.

Although this infamous piece of "Star Wars" history introduced plenty of absurd changes to the franchise, it's possible that fans were robbed of an even bigger revelation, because writer Leonard Ripps claims that Han Solo almost had a Wookiee wife in this much-maligned TV event.

George Lucas believed that showing Han Solo's Wookiee wife would be too controversial

Despite the fact the George Lucas has spent several decades trying to distance himself from "The Star Wars Holiday Special," it's worth noting that the he is still credited for sketching out the characters and story of the special itself, even while much of the writing credit can be attributed to a team that included Pat Proft, Rod Warren, Mitzie Welch, Bruce Vilanch, and Leonard Ripps (via IMDb). 

And according to Leonard Ripps, Lucas actually told him that Han Solo had a Wookiee wife, before going on to assert that they would not be allowed to reveal this in the script. "Lucas told us Han Solo was married to a Wookiee but that we couldn't mention that because it would be controversial," Ripps claimed, while speaking to Mental Floss

Revealing that Han Solo was actually married to a Wookiee would have been without a doubt one of the most shocking moments in the entire franchise — especially because "The Star Wars Holiday Special" takes before "The Empire Strikes Back," wherein he begins his romance with Princess Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher). In fact, the specific wording of Ripps' quote makes it seem like (at least at the time) Han Solo was actually married to a Wookiee, at least in Lucas' mind, even if they couldn't show it in the special itself.

Considering the abundance of vitriol that fans have already levied at "The Star Wars Holiday Special" over the years, it's probably for the best that Lucas' initial pitch never made it into the special itself — though one still has to wonder if Han Solo's secret wife also had a name as hilariously blunt as Itchy or Lumpy.